Paris (AFP) - French start-up BlaBlaCar, the world's largest long-distance car-sharing service with some 20 million members, on Monday said it was moving into Brazil.
Having already launched services in Mexico in April and raised $200 million in new investment in September, BlaBlaCar said it saw great potential in Brazil, where some 50 million cars hit the roads daily.
"Brazil has immense potentiel for long-distance car-sharing," BlaBlaCar said in a statement.
"The cost of car travel is excessively high for the majority of Brazilians. The country's tolls are the highest in the world while Brazilians must face a recent hike in the price of fuel."
Announcing business hub Sao Paulo as its 13th office to date, BlaClaCar, which operates in 20 countries including India and Russia, said rolling out its services in the giant country of some 202 million would provide an "affordable and convivial" service to customers.
Co-founder and director Nicolas Brusson said BlaBlaCar was delighted at the prospect of bringing car sharing to Brazil and building up a "community of confidence."
The firm's Brazil head Ricardo Leite meanwhile indicated that: "BlaBlaCar has acquired solid experience in exporting its long-distance car-sharing model across the globe thanks to novel functions to guarantee confidence, security and satisfaction to its community."
The service links would-be passengers to registered drivers online. Passengers pay online for the ride and receive a booking code as well as the driver's phone number while the latter likewise receives notification.